Series Review: Gift~eternal rainbow~

Posted by Demian @ 10:28 pm, December 23rd, 2006

Gift~eternal rainbow~ is the first series of the fall season to end for me, at least for the subs to end (let’s not get started on Black Lagoon). While the ending was a bit sentimental, it did wrap up all the major plot points, and Haruhiko did stick with Riko instead of a cop-out Harem ending. I’ll give it credit for that.

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Don’t worry. He turns out cooler than this.

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More Rinka was desperately needed, minus lesbian stalker.

Gift ends with Haruhiko erasing Gift from the world to save Riko. You see, after Kirino went insane, she made Riko feel all guilty and used her gift to exchange her memories with Kirino. Now Kirino was the imouto-chan she always wanted to be, and Riko was losing her mind. To fix this, Haruhiko decided he had to get rid of Gift to save Riko. Haruhiko realizes Gift was created on the day his mother died, and goes to her grave for the truth. There, he recieves a divine flashback to when his mother was alive. Since she was going to die shortly after Haruhiko was born, she decided to use the magic she was born with to give Gift to the people, in order to show Haruhiko all the happiness and sadness people were capable of. Still, once Haruhiko learned everything he could, she wanted him to destroy Gift and chase his own future with the woman he loved, and Haruhiko did just that.

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A Chisa is fine too.

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Love how Glasses Girl started hitting on Haruhiko at the end. Definately moe.

With Riko’s memory restored, Haruhiko goes to make peace with Kirino. He say’s he’s sorry for missing her piano recital as a kid (him missing it is why Kirino can’t play a full song), and then show’s her his piece of their cup-phone that he broke as a child. Tying the phone’s together again, he say’s he wants Kirino to play the piano song he missed as a child. She agree’s to. With Haruhiko and Riko cheering her on, Kirino can finally play a full song and accept that she will never have Haruhiko, but that he is sill her important childhood friend. With everything fixed, the people move on without Gift, and Haruhiko and Riko promise to chase their own future under the rainbow and be together forever. A very ” Awwww ” ending.

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I nominate this man for best harem side-kick ever. He was actually useful, gave great advice to Haruhiko, is a mad scientist, and actually has some small gar moments.

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Ok, who is this girl? She’s featured twice in the final episode, so she must of been in the series at some point, right? I just can’t remember her at all.

Yeah, so it’s not the most exciting of endings, and the whole Kirino goes insane plot wasn’t really all it could of been, what with Kirino feeling more guilty then laughing maniacally and raping Haruhiko. Admit that would of been awesome. We did find out what caused Gift, but it turned out that even if Haruhiko’s mother did create Gift, she still used magic, making the whole thing mute. I did like Haruhiko by the end though. He’s not as sarcastic as Yuuichi, but he’s manlier then most harem leads, willing to atone for his mistakes and chase after the girl he really wants and not drag the others. Speaking of others, it’s a shame Gift didn’t put it’s rich cast of side-characters to more use. Would it of really been that hard to give them some cameo’s, or have them try to help Haruhiko or Riko out? Poor Rinka only got one episode!

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Even if the ending was lackluster, Gift is still a pretty good harem show. Throwing worthless fanservice and hijinks aside, Gift goes to the heart of the matter with a bunch of character drama. It’s not the best drama, but when you first see Kirino absently talking into a cup-phone, it’s all worth it. Throw in some mostly attractive character designs and you got a solid harem series. Of course, the heavy sis-con is a big bonus for some I’m sure. So if your looking for something a bit less QUALITY then Yoake, not as generic as Happiness, or not as zany as Tokimeki, give Gift a try. You may find yourself surprisingly enjoying it, just like I did.

P.S. the Nipponsei Weekly Review takes a holiday break this week, but there will be a super-sized edition next time. Also, I won’t be updating the next couple of day’s, what with christmas and all. Hopefully I can remember all the stuff I’ve watched this year and make a best of ‘06 for when I come back. Yeah, like that will happen.

Kirino’s going to kill you~!

Posted by Demian @ 8:47 pm, December 3rd, 2006

Gift just keeps getting better and better. Quick recap of what’s been goin’ on.

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When we had last left the young incestous couple of Haruhiko and Riko, they had been fighting. However, they quickly made up, something the shy and jealous Kirino didn’t like. Chisa, seeing her friend so sad, gives Kirino one of her fake gifts, that Kirino accidently uses on Haruhiko, her wish to change things back to the old days. Kirino’s fake gift accomplishes this by causing Haruhiko to keep seeing his dead mother when he see’s Riko, freaking him out to no end. So if you love your sister who looks like your mother, is that twice the incest? Kirino confesses to Haruhiko of what she’s done, and he goes on a mad scooter chase after witch Chisa.

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After finding her, Haruhiko tries to get her to cancel the wish, but she can’t. She can only do that by canceling everyone’s wishes. She then starts talking how she always obeyed her mom to make her happy, and she got her fake gift power from her mom. That it’s her role to make everyone happy. Then she has a psycho moment where she say’s “Happiness can be easily recieved.” while looking like she’s about to cut open Haruhiko with an axe. Great wtf moment. Haruhiko wonders off and finds Chisa’s maid, who we learn has amnesia, but is still very happy and looking toward the future. Haruhiko realizes what he must do, and goes to Chisa’s home. He ask’s her to give him a fake gift so he can wipe out his memories of his mother to live with Riko. Have to admit that Haruhiko was looking pretty cool here.

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Chisa can’t do it. She realizes that happiness isn’t something you can just give, and gives back her powers to her mother, getting rid of Haruhiko’s hallucinations. After this whole incident, it’s the school trip to Kyoto! Right before leaving Kirino ask’s Haruhiko for a love charm from Kyoto, from him to her. But Haruhiko can’t do this, as he loves Riko. On the trip Haruhiko manages to confess to Riko (again) and she accepts. Of course this causes problems when they get back. Kirino finds out their together, but tells them she’s happy for them. She’s lying, and falls apart crying. She then apparently has a psychotic breakdown, as she starts talking into a cup-phone and listening to it. Greatest psychotic episode since Kaede. Around this same time, we find out that Riko used her Gift when she was young to create the eternal rainbow in the sky, so she and Haruhiko could be together. When talking to Kirino later Haruhiko mentions this, and Kirino gets incredibly angry. Turns out she and Riko made a promise when they were kids that they wouldn’t use Gifts to win Haruhiko’s heart. Kirino starts yelling at Riko, and swears to get Haruhiko back no matter what.

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Quite a lot, eh? Kirino’s breakdown was expected, but the whole cup-phone thing was beyond my expectations. It was just so out of nowhere and messed up, it looked like Kirino had really lost it. Partly it’s her own fault though. She’s never been proactive in trying to get Haruhiko, resorting to her fake wish thing. It’s as if she’s expected him to just fall into her lap. You have to love her logic for winning Haruhiko though. She say’s that she wanted to be his little sister, because you can lose childhood friends, but little sisters are forever. Maybe Kirino’s been messed up for a long time? I can’t wait to see what happens with her next. By the preview, it looks like she’s gonna use her Gift to start rewriting reality. And here I thought she was gonna summon a monster to kill everyone. Though I guess she could rewrite reality to have everyone dead.

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Aside from Kirino, Haruhiko’s pretty weird also. Since it turns out that he was seeing Riko as his mom even before Kirino had made her wish, what does that say about him? Does he want to bang Riko because she looks like his mom? Because she might be the reincarnation of his mom? Does he just have a thing for every female member of his family? You could probably write an entire book on Haruhiko and his incest fetish. Though I guess since Riko’s not his blood sister everything is alright? Kind of confusing, but I’m still glad they got together (though Haruhiko x Rinka would of been better).

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Chisa has some problems too. I’m not quite sure why she was giving the fake gifts to everyone. Was she trying to make her mom happy? Was she trying to prove she didn’t need her mom to make her happy? The whole point behind Gift seems to be what really is happiness and what is it for each person. Riko and Haruhiko finds happiness in eachother. Kirino can only find happiness in her obsession with Haruhiko. And Chisa can only find happiness by giving it to other people. Though all of this is kind of screwed up by the Gift power. What is it exactly? Wonder if they’ll explain it by the end, though it will probably be something sappy.

Right now Gift is beating out Kanon slightly on my harem meter. Even though Kanon is cute and gorgeous looking, I like a bit more conflict in my harems. The girls in Kanon are just too kind to eachother. I also have a weakspot for any harem that ends with an actual decision on the guy’s part, which it looks like Gift will. Haruhiko’s still not as manly as Kyon’iichi though ;).

Impressions: Gift~eternal rainbow~

Posted by Demian @ 6:54 pm, November 28th, 2006

I had been thinking about watching Gift~eternal rainbow~ since I saw some nice pictures of it, but I’ve never really had the time. However, after reading Jason’s review and with the slow release of other shows I’m watching, now I can try it out. And ,damn, I’m glad I have.

So far I’ve watched the first four episodes, and the basic plot is pretty simple. Amami Haruhiko is our main guy living in Narasakicho, which for some reason has an eternal rainbow. Who would’ve guessed that? Somehow true lovers can wish on this rainbow to get a miracle, or something like that. It’s only been used once so far. But of course this is a harem series, so who’s all the hot girls? Let’s introduce them.

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Fukumine Riko is the main, perfect girl, moe, good cook, playful, pink hair, etc. The twist is that she’s also Haruhiko’s younger sister (actually their the same age and Haruhiko just has a complex about being called Onii-chan. Yeah he’s weird), though not by blood. She was just raised with him when they were young and had to leave when Haruhiko’s dad’s business went under. Now she’s back for her onii-chan. Or Kirino. I can’t tell yet, but there’s some weird subtext between them.

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After Riko there’s Haruhiko’s other loli-sister type, Konosaka Kirino, the childhood friend who wakes him up every morning. She’s a pretty shy character who seems to say she’s sorry a lot. Also clearly loves Haruhiko but is too shy to tell him. Her and Riko seem to have had some weird relationship in the past, as Riko mentions a promise to Kirino, about Haruhiko I guess. Seems they’ve fought over him before.

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Totally not the same person!

Now begins the periphery characters, who clearly won’t win at all but are just nice to look at. First is Fujimiya Chisa, Kirina’s friend who is also secretly a mahou shoujo that grants false wishes. Also carries around an annoying crow. Chisa proves all the other characters are stupid, as none of them can tell that her and the witch are the same person, even though her only disguise is a hat. She even has the same crow! She’ll probably be important to the plot later, as it seems she goes insane or something. Can’t wait for that.

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Next is Kamishiro Yukari, Chisa’s maid. I have no idea why she needs a maid, or how that maid is also in school with her, especially when she looks a lot older. The sweet, mature girl who gets no screentime at all, which is a terrible crime. Also has the biggest breasts, which is why she needs more screentime.

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Lesbian stalker is hated by all.

Finally is Hokazono Rinka, the badass sword wielding babe. Since when did every eroge feature a sword wielding girl? Thankfully she’s more talkative than Mai. Also suffers from severe lack of screentime. Comes with her own lesbian stalker accessory, Sato Nami, who even Rinka thinks is annoying.

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Drama

The reason I’m liking Gift so far is it’s the first harem series since Shuffle (that I can remember) that’s had such drama between the characters. First, Haruhiko actually realizes he likes Riko (in ep. 3 amazingly) and confesses to her, just to be shot down by Riko who starts crying and saying she’s sorry, babbling about some promise to Kirino. This of course sours Haruhiko and Riko’s relationship, leading to Haruhiko’s friend Maki trying to get the two back to together through some fear trial in the woods, involving some wacky magic no less. However, things go wrong, and it’s Kirino who ends up in Haruhiko’s arms, in front of Riko no less! That whole segment of events just amazed me. The whole presentation just makes for good drama. Maybe I just haven’t watched a romance series in awhile, but it’s nice to see actual conflict between the girls, or at least emotional damage. Whole show so far reminds me of Shana and Yoshida. Now that was some great drama. Can’t wait to see where the bumpy road between Haruhiko, Riko, and Kirino leads.

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Best animation so far. Seriously.

On the animation front Gift is pretty mediocre. Let’s just say it’s not Kanon material. It’s done by Oriental Light and Magic, and the whole animation seems like a mix between Shuffle and Studio Deen. Characters seem a little too skinny for their own good, and the fanservice isn’t that great or plentiful, though that doesn’t matter. Backgrounds could be better, as everything looks so drab and ugly. Fortunately the character designs are pretty cute, with Rinka’s being my favorite.

Gift isn’t something I originally thought of watching, but now that I’ve started I can’t get enough of it. If your tired of your Happiness, Otoboku, or ,godforbid, Kanon, give this a try. Not much worse you can do.